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State v. Boyd

Court of Appeals of Connecticut

September 19, 2017

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
v.
TERRENCE LAMONT BOYD

          Argued May 22, 2017

          Richard H. Stannard III, with whom, on the brief, was Justin R. Clark, for the appellant (defendant).

          Linda Currie-Zeffiro, assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Richard J. Colangelo, Jr., state's attorney, and Katherine Donoghue, deputy assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).

          Keller, Mullins and Norcott, Js.

         Syllabus

         Convicted of the crimes of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer arising out of an altercation outside a bar with a female patron, R, and his subsequent arrest, the defendant appealed to this court. He claimed, inter alia, that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction of disorderly conduct. Specifically, he claimed that his act of raising his hand as R came toward him was insufficient to establish the intent element of the crime of disorderly conduct. Held:

         1. There was sufficient evidence presented at trial to support a finding that the defendant engaged in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior to support his conviction of disorderly conduct: R testified that she ducked because she believed that the defendant was going to hit her, other witnesses testified that the defendant aggressively swung at the back of R's head or shoved her, and the jury was free to credit that testimony and to reject the defendant's self-serving testimony that he raised his hand as R came toward him only to get her to back off; moreover, the mens rea language in the disorderly conduct statute (§ 53a-182) requires that a defendant's predominant intent must be to cause what a reasonable person operating under contemporary community standards would consider a feeling of anxiety prompted by threatened danger or harm, and the state here presented sufficient evidence concerning the circumstances leading up to the offensive conduct from which the jury reasonably could have found that the defendant specifically intended to cause R inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm by either swinging his fist at the back of her head or shoving her.

         2. The defendant could not prevail on his claim that the trial court improperly failed to instruct the jury concerning the definition of certain terms when it set forth the elements of the charge of interfering with an officer; the entirety of the defendant's claim was predicated on his mistaken interpretation of the trial court's supplemental charge to the jury as its principal charge, and the court, in its principal charge, instructed the jury with the exact definitions that the defendant claimed on appeal were omitted and in substantial conformance with his request to charge.

         Procedural History

         Substitute information charging the defendant with two counts of the crime of threatening in the second degree, and with the crimes of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer, brought to the Superior Court in the judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk and tried to the jury before Holden, J.; verdict and judgment of guilty of disorderly conduct and interfering with an officer, from which the defendant appealed to this court. Affirmed.

          OPINION

          NORCOTT, J.

         The defendant, Terrence Lamont Boyd, appeals from the judgment of conviction, rendered after a jury trial, of disorderly conduct in violation of General Statutes § 53a-182 (a) (1)[1] and interfering with an officer in violation of General Statutes § 53a-167a (a).[2] The jury found the defendant not guilty of two counts of threatening in the second degree, each in violation of General Statutes § 53a-62 (a) (2). On appeal, the defendant claims that (1) there was insufficient evidence presented at trial to convict him of disorderly conduct and (2) the trial court erred when it provided incomplete or incorrect jury instructions. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.

         On the basis of the evidence presented at trial, the jury reasonably could have found the following facts. At approximately 11 p.m. on June 27, 2014, Bridgette Powell arrived with Alisabeth Rojas at the Moose Lodge (bar) in South Norwalk. The defendant arrived at the bar separately. Rojas, an employee of the bar, was attending as a patron that night. Although Rojas did not previously know the defendant, Powell had known him for a long time. While at the bar, Powell and Rojas consumed alcoholic drinks.

         At approximately 2 a.m. on June 28, 2014, when the patrons were leaving the bar, Melvyn Mayberry, a bouncer working that night, saw Rojas tell the defendant that it was time to leave the bar. The defendant responded that he was not going to leave. After May-berry informed the defendant that he needed to leave, he agreed and, escorted by Mayberry, began to exit the bar. Mayberry saw the defendant and Rojas begin to argue immediately outside the bar, and inserted himself between the two. He heard the defendant say ‘‘the bitch ain't gonna cut me.'' At that point, all of the parties were at the top of the stairs on the landing outside the bar. Mayberry escorted Powell, Rojas, and the defendant down the stairs and into the alley, toward their respective cars, while still maintaining a physical barrier between the defendant and Rojas, with Rojas walking slightly ahead.

         Meanwhile, Garrett Kruger, a uniformed Norwalk police officer, was in his patrol cruiser across the street when he saw Powell, Rojas, and the defendant exiting the bar and ‘‘screaming and yelling at each other.'' Based on his observations, the defendant ‘‘appeared to be the aggressor.'' Kruger drove his cruiser into the alley where Powell, Rojas, and the defendant were fighting and radioed for backup. He then exited his cruiser and loudly told Powell, Rojas, and the defendant to ‘‘leave the area and disperse'' and to ‘‘stop yelling at each other.'' They followed Kruger's command to disperse and began to walk further down the alley toward their cars, but they did not cease yelling at one another. As a result, Kruger followed them on foot down the alleyway from a distance of ...


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